There’s one lesson Golden Knights rookies Cody Glass and Nic Hague have clearly taken to heart: Don’t be late.
The two are determined to avoid any silly rookie mistakes that could get them punished or chirped at. Glass has made a habit of setting four alarms to make sure he shows up to every meeting, practice and game on time.
It’s one way the 20-year-old is adjusting to life in the NHL. He likes what he’s seen, so he wants to do whatever it takes to stick around.
“I’m very nervous when it comes to that stuff,” Glass said. “It’s very nerve-wracking for me. Obviously, you don’t want to show up late or do something wrong. I try to do my best not to do anything bad.”
Glass and Hague said there’s two other major changes they’ve experienced since becoming NHL regulars: The travel is better and the games are awe-inspiring at first.
Glass said the airline travel is a welcome change of pace from the buses his major junior team, the Portland Winterhawks, used to ride for hours at a time. He and Hague typically keep to themselves on the team plane, listening to music and playing games on their phone, such as Candy Crush.
“It’s a lot different,” Glass said. “It’s a lot nicer. Obviously, I want to try my best to stay up here as long as possible so I can have that.”
The two admitted to getting star-struck in their early games. Glass said it was “special” to share the ice with Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Washington Capitals left wing Alexander Ovechkin, two players he grew up watching.
Hague said his eyes grew wide playing with Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. The netminder he watched compete for Stanley Cups was suddenly the one he was assigned to protect.
But that feeling wore off after a few games, they said. And the two began to focus on their play and what they needed to do to make sure their NHL stays were extended ones.
“The more time I spend up here, the more games I play, I start to feel a little bit more comfortable, build some confidence and just do my thing,” Hague said.
Hague’s comfort shows because he only sets two alarms every day. He laughed at Glass’ habit, but neither seemed eager to change their routines since they’ve avoided any major off-ice mistakes through 21 games.
“Not yet,” Glass said. “Knock on wood there.”
Who’s top dog on the Oilers?
Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid had an incredible week, recording hat tricks Nov. 10 and Thursday (as part of a six-point night).
But he’s still not the top scorer on his team. That honor belongs to linemate Leon Draisaitl, who had 41 points to McDavid’s 37 after Friday’s games.
Both players have legitimate cases to be the Hart Trophy (MVP) favorite through the first quarter of the season.
Battle in the Metro
The New York Islanders were 12-0-1 in their last 13 games entering Saturday, but that hasn’t been enough to get them atop the Metropolitan Division.
The division-leading Washington Capitals went 11-1-2 in their last 14 before Saturday’s games.
RJ’s best and worst
Review-Journal hockey writer Ben Gotz gives his best and worst NHL teams each week (Record and goal differential are through Friday):
1. Boston Bruins (12-3-4, +18)
Brad Marchand (13 goals, 19 assists) continues to play outstanding hockey.
2. Washington Capitals (14-3-4, +16)
Their regulation loss Friday was their first since Oct. 14.
3. New York Islanders (13-3-1, +15)
Veteran goaltender Tomas Greiss is having a career season while sharing the net with Semyon Varlamov.
4. St. Louis Blues (12-3-5, +4)
They’ve won only seven games in regulation, but credit them for being great in overtime.
5. Edmonton Oilers (13-6-2, +11)
They’re maintained their hot start because of a much-improved defense.
27. Columbus Blue Jackets (7-8-4, -18)
Young goaltender Joonas Korpisalo is struggling as a primary starter.
28. Minnesota Wild (7-11-2, -16)
Their underlying numbers aren’t bad. They just have no finishers.
29. New Jersey Devils (6-8-4, -20)
The future of pending free agent Taylor Hall figures to dominate the rest of their season.
30. Los Angeles Kings (7-11-1, -20)
Left wing Ilya Kovalchuk appears to be out of the picture after signing a three-year, $18.75 million contract in the offseason.
31. Detroit Red Wings (7-12-2, -30)
Giving up 78 goals in their first 21 games isn’t ideal.